As a real estate professional, you’ve probably been asked whether or not it’s a good idea to try to sell a home over the holiday season. For clients trying to sell their homes, is it your advice that they should keep their properties on the market over the holidays, or that they should resume trying to sell after the season?
Here’s one point of view:
The holiday season has generally not been considered a most opportune time to try to sell one’s home. People are busy with shopping, get-togethers, cooking and planning vacations. Who has time to look for a home? But, with the advent of the internet – and even more importantly, social media – times have changed. It no longer takes a plethora of telephone calls and getting together on a daily basis with one’s agent to find a property. The real estate market has evolved due to the ease with which people can buy and sell their homes using the internet and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Agents post their listings on these sites as soon as they come on the market. People have access to these listings any time of the day or night. Instead of reading a book before bedtime, one can simply browse listings in their preferred areas and get all of the information they need to decide whether or not they want to see a property. It’s that easy – whether it’s Christmastime or the middle of the summer!
Another factor to keep in mind is that due to the hectic pace of the holiday season, many people opt not to try to sell and/or look to buy during this time. The competition will therefore not be as stiff, making it potentially easier for a great home to sell. It’s been said that ‘serious buyers’ will be looking for a home no matter what time of year it is – if they’re in the market to buy and want to find something, Christmas is not going to slow them down. With the inventory not as plentiful as it would be at any other time, marketing at Christmastime might be just the edge one needs to get their home sold!
What About Christmas Décor?
So, you’re going to go ahead and market your home over the holiday season? Good call! The question now remains whether or not you should put up your Christmas decorations and lights.
In two words: Why not?
A good rule of thumb, however, would be to not overdo it. Keep it tasteful and simple – not loud, garish and so overdone that potential buyers won’t be able to see the features of the home through the excessive garland and lights. Ensure that the Christmas décor on both the inside and outside of the home is sophisticated and discerning – something that will be attractive, warm and inviting – not over-the-top! Just think of how beautifully your home could show when elegantly decorated. For some great ideas, try looking through some of the December issues of home/style magazines. And, remember the old trick about baking cookies or pies just before a potential buyer comes in to view your home? Well, that goes double for over the holidays. Warmly decorated and the aroma of freshly baked Christmas goodies? What could be more enticing?
One other factor to consider when putting your home on the market over the holidays – or during any of the winter/early spring months, for that matter – is snow (and ice). You’ll want to make sure that you maintain all walkways and driveways. Ensure that they are cleared of snow and ice – the last thing you want is for someone to slip and break a bone or two on their way in to see your property. Not only will you not get the sale, but you might just be in for a law suit!! Just sayin’!